AN: Hi, this was written during a bad night and thus has not be beta read. This is also entirely plotless and pointless. I'm working on another story at this time that is an AU Jason/Marie (more like David/Marie) and hopefully, this fic being completed means I'm up to the task.
This story is for Alex who deals with my Bourne related bullshit every day and sometimes twice a day.
This is movie-verse and not book related.
Warnings: Spoilers for Bourne series (especially Supremacy and Jason Bourne), reference to self-harm, character death references, reference to suicide. Nothing graphic but potentially uncomfortable.
It had been years since he had even thought about the wrinkled photo that how lied in front of him on the ratty bed. He had assumed that it had been lost during his wanderings or tossed away without a second thought. He had stopped wanting to see Marie's face once the deed was done. She had looked so happy. She had, he thought, been so happy. Even when she was worried about him, she was at least, happy. He could see it in her eyes. They were so full of life and always turned towards tomorrow. It stood out from the faded bedspread with the walls where the paint was peeling and the worn furniture that was due to be replaced any day now. That was the one good point about picking the cheap motel he had been holing up in while he figured out his next action. She would have probably laughed at how he kept picking these types of places.
"I thought this was gone."
He had before arriving in New York tossed the photograph into one of his lesser-used passports. It had been one he knew was flagged and thus was less than worthless. Knowing that the picture had been stashed into it was the only reason he kept the liability around or at least he had kept it around. That particular passport, if he remembered correctly, had been tossed shortly after his escape across the ocean. At first, it had hurt. There was no longer any trace of Marie minus the memories that her brother (though he was not quite sure there - Martin Kreutz had seemed saddened, but the more he thought about that particular visit the more confused he felt about that particular action) may have had. He was much younger than she was and while she never spoke of it, he had known she had been a teenage runaway. Jason wondered if that man had anything more than a fuzzy recollection of his half-sister from back in those days and maybe a couple of memories when a brief meeting or two they may have had. He was probably the only one who knew her favorite color (orange) and that she was amazed by the fact people put pineapple on pizza. That she liked soft things and she often fell asleep instantly when there was an open window letting a cool breeze pass through the bedroom. But she hated snow and ice and freezing cold. That she was good at art. Most of her jewelry she made herself with bits and pieces found at marketplaces.
He was not going to judge her on the runaway part of her past even though he regretted not trying to talk to her about it. He felt (on occasion but especially early into his new life) much like a teenager who was doing the same thing. He had run away from home. That was what Dewey made it sound like. He was told that it was time to come in. But, that home was no good. This country was no longer it. It may have never been. It was David's, maybe. But not Jason's. That was with Marie. Marie was gone. His home was gone. But, she would have likely understood his feelings. Maybe she could have told him how to handle it. Or how she handled it. If she even needed to.
But, he wondered how the photo's hiding placed changed and quickly decided that it must have been saved by someone else - most likely Pamela Landy who had been the one to arrange for him to be fished out of the Hudson, she had handed him his bag without a word about what as in it. He had assumed she had not bothered to glance through it. Apparently that assumption might have been incorrect. She must have seen what he had tucked away, carefully packed, in that beat-up travel bag. She likely even correctly guessed that he had been planning on doing. Or she could have just assumed it was something he still wanted. Maybe even both. Pamela Landy was sharp. She knew how to read people and she knew how to read herself. It was one of the reasons he trusted her to do the right thing. It was likely the reason why he was seeing this picture for the first time in nine years. Why it had not been burned into ash like the rest of the traces of her short life.
He certainly was not going to thank her for that move.
He had wanted to let Marie's memory rest and wanted to be spared of her judgment of his actions.
He had known from the time he fell into the river, no, from the moment he repeated asset known as the Professor's dying words that he had broken her heart.
He probably shattered it by letting Nicky die.
Jason then wondered if she had been trying to find just one more answer back then. She had never said one word that let on if she had or not but she was also not the type to let any sort of loose end go. He had hoped what she saw was enough. For all that she went through after helping him, after even temporarily becoming his ally, he had hoped it was enough and that it was all worth it. She had probably seen it was evidence of why he gave the entire CIA his version of a reckoning. She had probably gotten some sort of insight into Jason himself. But she had been radio silent since everything. She had been in hearing through hearing and he had known things were looking bad for her the last he had heard. But Nicky had not seemed worried the last time he had asked about her. So, he could only hope she was out there somewhere and that she was able to live with herself.
Perhaps after this next errand was done, he would go and see if he could seek her out. Thank her in person. Or at least make sure she was alive. It was truly done to her and him who were still left from the old days. Not that he knew much about the others or cared. It was better they were seemingly gone. It was better that they all remained ghosts. She was the only one besides Nicky that he felt even had any sense of honor to them and well, it would be a lie if he said didn't respect her. She did at least have some sense of conscience. But he also wanted to ask her why she spared that photo.
His eyes then fell back onto it and he felt the urge to pick it up like he had done when he was trying to seek even a second's worth of comfort. Like he had during his long train rides and when he was healing up while hiding from the authorities in Eastern Europe. Like he had moments after her death and he was debating about tossing into the fire. Like he sometimes had, like he knew that she had when she thought hse was alone when they were still living in peace in Goa. But, he knew that it would no longer work. Her happiness now left a bitter taste in his mouth, but even so, he had forgotten just how happy she was. She was full of life. It was like she was sharing her overabundance of life with him and filling him back up - making him into a person instead of a tool - but he wondered if he was building her up too much. She was certainly flawed. She hated getting up early in the morning unless she had woke herself up. She was impulsive - he had argued with her for hours about the dragon tattoo she had suddenly got the week they decided to stay in India. She cursed like a sailor when angered. She ran from a number of her problems before they met. She was stubborn until the end. But she stayed with him anyway.
He could feel his hands starting to shake ever-so-slightly as he reached towards it. It was a ridiculous reaction and he knew it. There was no way that the photo was going to burn him or explode. There was no way that Marie would turn towards him instead of away as she had been captured and begin to scold him like something that he had once caught while flipping through channels on the television in the hotel that Landy had set him up in until his wound healed enough to not impede travel. Though he had only been half paying attention to the channels he flipped through - only bothering to see what was being reported and on what particular channel - and he had only paused that mindless changing by the sound of a car horn blaring. But it had made him feel some jolt - guilt, he thinks now, or shock, what he thought at the time - of what Marie would be thinking right now. Something he had blocked out since the news of Abbott's suicide had surfaced. She had wanted him to not kill and while had likely saddened her (it at the time felt better to think that maybe she was not entirely gone even though his inner voice chided him sharply over indulging that fantasy) before even reaching that point in the journey, he had let Abbott go with just a matter of fact statement and the slamming of a tape recorder on a desk.
Would Marie have held that suicide against him? He wanted to think that she would not. That she would know that that particular action was someone else's own decision and not an action that he had taken. He had not even said a word that could have pushed him to it. Would she had been angry about a lot of the other harms he caused? Or would she have forgiven it after a little bit of disappointed lecturing? Would she have at least understood? He had thought that she was choosing to not understand when they were fleeing. She had been arguing for him to not go after Kirill. To not go after his former masters. She claimed that it would have never ended by doing that. Nothing would change if he ran to fight.
"Marie, I should have listened to you."
Fuck, she was right about nothing changing. He was still running but there were just different monsters to fun from now. At least before he had a rough idea or rather he thought he had. At least he wouldn't have been alone running. But there was nowhere to run to anymore and that was all that was truly different than neither of them would have seen coming. Everything was so interconnected through the internet now and things were changing faster than ever. Cameras everywhere. Facial recognition software was commonplace. He even needed a cell phone, though a burner, as payphones had become incredibly rare to find. Lee had managed to get him into the US during their temporary alliance but Lee was also, in his opinion, much more dangerous and not worth making an attempt to trust. This new world was her playground. It was not much one for a broken tool like himself. It was much more dangerous for him. For most. The safety he had once thought existed no longer did if it ever had.
Even so, he could almost imagine her voice chiding him gently as she often did when he was being (in her eyes) ridiculous about something. Even when she was trying to be stern, her accented voice still soft and gentle as if she was talking to a child. In many ways, he felt as if he was a child - or rather a brooding teenager - even now. Even with his memories and some sense of who had been. David Webb would have likely kicked his own ass. He could feel that man's presence sometimes and he was never happy about what was happening. He wanted to fight but he was also naive. Jason almost hated him. David was played. David should have been able to give a second thought to what he was being told to do. All of this could have been avoided if he had thought his choice through. How many people would have been spared if he had?
The man then looked down at the photograph in his hands and sighed. Marie would have still been alive. Nicky would have been alive. That's at the least.
"Is this really what you want to do?"
He glanced down.
"Do you really want to keep doing this?"
He kept his gaze away from the image of her.
"You're killing yourself. If it's not being in the viper's nest then you're getting yourself beaten up for money."
He shut his eyes feeling a headache starting for a moment.
"Jason, you can't keep doing this. You need to live your own life. I mean life your own life. Not just survive."
He quickly gathered up the scattered documents and stuffed them into the bag, leaving only the photo which he had quickly just propped up against the bag.
He found himself muttering, "What do you want me to do then?"
"I think you know."
"No, you know."
"Marie, I don't want to go back."
"That's a start."
"That's okay. If you don't have to go back there either."
"I don't know where I want to go."
There was only silence that followed.
Jason shut his eyes until the burner phone sitting over on the other side of the room buzzed. He took a couple of careful steps over to where it was plugged into its charger and saw the notification stating that was Lee who had sent a text message with a location and time.
Tomorrow. 4 pm. Constitution Gardens